Thursday, April 26, 2018




April 26, 2018 

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey


JONAH GOLDBERG’S “CONSERVATISM” MAKES THE OLD SOVIETS LOOK GOOD

But Does It Signal An Emerging Counter-Revolution?


Friends,
I begin today with several quotations from perhaps my most unfavorite writer among so-called (Neo) conservatives, Jonah Goldberg. 
Goldberg is a Senior Editor of National Review, a widely-syndicated columnist, and a regular pundit on Fox News.  And he is archetypically representative of what is fatally wrong with the conservative movement and its establishment, and why it is destined in its present form not only to continued loss to its supposed liberal and leftwing opponents, but in reality facilitates and enables those Leftist victories. 
How is it possible to truly offer opposition to your supposed enemies, much less defeat them, if you begin by agreeing with them on essential principles? 
Two recent Goldberg columns illustrate this. 
First, there is his column of April 6, 2018, in which he glorifies Martin Luther King Jr. as someone whose life and message resembles nothing less than the Second Coming. [https://townhall.com/columnists/jonahgoldberg/2018/04/06/like-lincoln-king-now-belongs-to-the-ages-n2468208?utm_source=thdaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nl&newsletterad=] According to Goldberg, “there is no modern figure who more richly deserves to be placed at the heart of the American story… [T]he generation of conservatives (though not necessarily Republicans, who disproportionately voted for the Civil Rights Act) who wrongly opposed the civil rights movement either out of misguided constitutionalism [sic!] or simply out of archaic racism needed to die off before King's contribution could be better appreciated across party lines.” [For a contrary view which starkly illustrates Goldberg’s immense errancy and the implicit differences between his Neoconservatism and a more traditional, constitutional conservatism, see my detailed column on King, January 15, http://boydcatheyreviewofbooks.blogspot.com/2018/01/january-15-2018-my-corner-martin-luther.html, which was also published by The Unz Review, January 16, “Martin Luther King and the Perversion of American History,” https://www.unz.com/article/martin-luther-king-day-and-the-perversion-of-american-history/]
Like the farther, even more radical Left, for Goldberg the very idea of America is all wrapped up in the quest for Equality, and it took a necessary and bloody “civil war” to expunge the sin of slavery and advance the quest to eradicate “racism” from the American experience.
He writes: 
“It was not until Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address that the ideal embedded in the Declaration fully became both the plot and theme of the American story. ‘Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.’ That idea, always present in America's self-conception, became the heart of the American creed. But it was not truly so until 100 years later, when King called upon Americans to live up to the best versions of themselves.” 
That narrative is historically erroneous and not based on the history, formulation or writing of the Declaration of Independence, nor the explicit meaning of that document or the Constitution, as historians Barry Alan Shain (Colgate University) and the late Mel Bradford (University of Dallas) have carefully and convincingly shown. Yet, as ideological template its implications have had serious effects and disastrous results for the American nation.  
Or, consider Goldberg’s column of April 20, “America Is Not As Intolerant As We Make It Out to Be,” (https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/04/america-not-most-racist-sexist-nation-progress-made/#slide-1). Once again Goldberg’s narrative is straight out of the Progressivist playbook. In that column Jonah admits that he had watched the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation [GLAAD] Vanguard Awards and had seen a video of Britney Spears’s acceptance of an award and her praise of the group’s activities, adding:
“There was a time when I might have had a bit of fun with Spears about some of the inconsistencies. But I’ve mellowed. It’s all good. It was a nice speech, and she seemed sincerely honored to receive her award and grateful for the support of her fans. Fine, fine.” 
Of course, that is nothing new for Goldberg. In the past he has endorsed same sex marriage and has been supportive of transgenderism and, at least implicitly, gender fluidity: Personally, I have always felt that gay marriage was an inevitability…the rise of the HoBos — the homosexual bourgeoisie — strikes me as good news.” [https://www.nationalreview.com/2010/12/gay-becomes-bourgeois-jonah-goldberg/
And Goldberg is, like other Neocons, a globalist and a believer in America’s “mission” to go round the world and impose those virtues of equality and liberal democracy on all the millions of unenlightened and backward peoples who cling to their guns and their traditions, to paraphrase Barack Obama. And like many Neocons he was a NeverTrumper…and, in many regards, still is: a zealous partisan of the Deep State, despite his protestations to the contrary. 
Goldberg’s views pass for standard conservative template these days, whether on Fox News or in the pages of National Review or The Weekly Standard, or emitted by any number of the various “conservative think tanks” that spew out such ideological drivel. 
Yet, there is growing discomfort among the grass roots, among those “deplorables” who have listened to Goldberg and others like him for years…and who have witnessed the deleterious results of years of “conservative activism” and compliant Republican presidents and GOP majorities in Congress: things have continued to worsen, to decay, our essential beliefs and moral laws have continued to erode and disappear, and the conservative establishment and its minions in Congress seem to be complicit in that process. 
Whether the surprising election of outsider Donald Trump indicated a lasting reaction against this seemingly irreversible movement historically, or whether the Deep State, which now seeks to either displace the president or surround him and derail the America First agenda, will continue to succeed, is yet to be decided. 
But already in Europe—which is arguably much further advanced in the throes, the “slough of despond” of New World Order globalism—a growing reaction, a European version of “deplorables” and “bitter clingers” is making its voice heard: in Hungary, in Italy, in Poland, in Russia, and even in an intellectually and historically castrated, multiculturalist Germany. 
Mostly recently in Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his nationalist conservative and populist party, Fidesz, won two-thirds of the seats in the Hungarian parliament. Orban has pledged to stop Muslim immigration into his country (Hungary has built a border wall), to restore Hungary’s historic Christian moral foundations, to halt the subversion of globalist George Soros and his many subversive “non-governmental organizations” (NGOs), and to resist the arbitrary diktats of the European Union. 
In this he is closely allied with Vladimir Putin in Russia, who was recently re-elected President of Russia overwhelmingly (by 76%) in Russian national elections [http://russiafeed.com/vladimir-putin-re-elected-russias-president-landslide-win/]—elections which despite the usual complaints by globalists in the United States (including the fatuous Karl Rove)—were adjudged to be fair by  well over 1,000 independent election observers. [I would eagerly compare the “fairness” of Russia’s elections with what habitually occurs in Philadelphia or Chicago or any number of other locales in the United States, not to mention the voting of thousands of illegals and others in states like California.] 
(Incidentally, a recent national poll by the respected Levada Center revealed that 83% of Russians reject homosexuality, and an even larger margin oppose same sex marriage.[March 28, 2018:  https://russian-faith.com/family-values/poll-christian-values-sodomy-abortion-surge-russia-83-reject-homosex-n1345] Compare this to the expansive egalitarianism of Goldberg.) 
The common theme that runs through these elections and what also happened recently in Italy, where the opponents of Muslim immigration, nationalist and populist conservative groups (Northern League and Five Star Movement) won overwhelmingly, is a rejection of the globalism and liberal democracy of the international elites, and a reaffirmation of the historic traditions and beliefs of those peoples, a realization that their culture and their very existence as definable peoples were being corrupted and destroyed. 
The egalitarian and liberal democratic myth still reigns in the United States, loudly defended not only by the “farther Left,” but also by the jejune conservative movement. The battle to overthrow it often appears hopeless—Hollywood and our entertainment industry seem lost; academia, almost totally corrupted; our churches subverted, spewing forth endless heresy; and our politics poisoned and political system converted into a ruthless kleptocracy. 
Yet, what is happening in Europe, even in microcosm, offers signs of hope for us. Recovery and counter-revolution is always possible, after all history is a fickle mistress, filled with unforeseen events—and miracles. 
Pat Buchanan observes what is occurring and offers a good summary of what is happening in Europe—hopefully a vigorous reaction to the near complete failure of the allures of liberal democracy and equality.
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Why the Authoritarian Right Is Rising
By Patrick J. Buchanan    Friday - April 20, 2018

A fortnight ago, Viktor Orban and his Fidesz Party won enough seats in the Hungarian parliament to rewrite his country's constitution.   To progressives across the West, this was disturbing news.

For the bete noire of Orban's campaign was uber-globalist George Soros. And Orban's commitments were to halt any further surrenders of Hungarian sovereignty and independence to the European Union, and to fight any immigrant invasion of Hungary from Africa or the Islamic world.

Why are autocrats like Orban rising and liberal democrats failing in Europe? The autocrats are addressing the primary and existential fear of peoples across the West — the death of the separate and unique tribes into which they were born and to which they belong.

Modern liberals and progressives see nations as transitory — here today, gone tomorrow. The autocrats, however, have plugged into the most powerful currents running in this new century: tribalism and nationalism.

The democracy worshippers of the West cannot compete with the authoritarians in meeting the crisis of our time because they do not see what is happening to the West as a crisis. They see us as on a steady march into a brave new world, where democracy, diversity and equality will be everywhere celebrated.

To understand the rise of Orban, we need to start seeing Europe and ourselves as so many of these people see us.

Hungary is a thousand years old. Its people have a DNA all their own. They belong to a unique and storied nation of 10 million with its own language, religion, history, heroes, culture and identity.  Though a small nation, two-thirds of whose lands were torn away after World War I, Hungarians wish to remain and endure as who they are.  They don't want open borders. They don't want mass migrations to change Hungary into something new. They don't want to become a minority in their own country. And they have used democratic means to elect autocratic men who will put the Hungarian nation first.

U.S. elites may babble on about "diversity," about how much better a country we will be in 2042 when white European Christians are just another minority and we have become a "gorgeous mosaic" of every race, tribe, creed and culture on earth.

To Hungarians, such a future entails the death of the nation. To Hungarians, millions of African, Arab and Islamic peoples settling in their lands means the annihilation of the historic nation they love, the nation that came into being to preserve the Hungarian people.

President Emmanuel Macron of France says the Hungarian and other European elections where autocrats are advancing are manifestations of "national selfishness."

Well, yes, national survival can be considered national selfishness.  But let Monsieur Macron bring in another 5 million former subject peoples of the French Empire and he will discover that the magnanimity and altruism of the French has its limits, and a Le Pen will soon replace him in the Elysee Palace.

Consider what else the "world's oldest democracy" has lately had on offer to the indigenous peoples of Europe resisting an invasion of Third World settlers coming to occupy and repopulate their lands.

Our American democracy boasts of a First Amendment freedom of speech and press that protects blasphemy, pornography, filthy language and the burning of the American flag. We stand for a guaranteed right of women to abort their children and of homosexuals to marry.  We offer the world a freedom of religion that prohibits the teaching of our cradle faith and its moral code in our public schools. Our elites view this as social progress upward from a dark past.

To much of the world, however, America has become the most secularized and decadent society on earth, and the title the ayatollah bestowed upon us, "The Great Satan," is not altogether undeserved. And if what "our democracy" has delivered here has caused tens of millions of Americans to be repulsed and to secede into social isolation, why would other nations embrace a system that produced so poisoned a politics and so polluted a culture?

"Nationalism and authoritarianism are on the march," writes The Washington Post: "Democracy as an ideal and in practice seems under siege." Yes, and there are reasons for this.

"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people," said John Adams. And as we have ceased to be a moral and religious people, the poet T. S. Eliot warned us what would happen:

"The term 'democracy' ... does not contain enough positive content to stand alone against the forces you dislike — it can be easily be transformed by them. If you will not have God (and he is a jealous God), you should pay your respects to Hitler and Stalin." [Recall: Hitler rose to power through a democratic election.]

Democracy lacks content. As a political system, it does not engage the heart. And if Europe's peoples see their leaders as accommodating a transnational EU, while failing to secure national borders, they will use democracy to replace them with men of action.






Tuesday, April 24, 2018


April 24, 2018

MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey

American Exceptionalism, the South, and the Great Brain Robbery of Conservatism




[Portions of this installment of MY CORNER appeared on September 22, 2017, but the entire essay has been rewritten and enlarged. BDC]

No discussion of Southern conservatism, its history and its relationship to what is termed broadly the “American conservative movement” would be complete without an examination of events that have transpired over the past fifty years and the pivotal role of the powerful intellectual current known as Neoconservatism.



From the 1950s into the 1980s Southerners who defended the traditions of the South, and even more so, of the Confederacy, were welcomed as allies and confreres by their Northern and Western counterparts. William F. Buckley Jr.’s National Review and Dr. Russell Kirk’s Modern Age, perhaps the two leading conservative journals of the period, welcomed Southerners into the “movement” and onto the pages of those organs of conservative thought.  Kirk dedicated an entire issue of Modern Age to the South and its traditions, and explicitly supported its historic defense of the originalist constitutionalism of the Framers. And throughout the critical period that saw the enactment of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts, Buckley’s magazine defended the “Southern position,” arguing forcefully on constitutional grounds that the proposed legislation would undercut not just the guaranteed rights of the states but the protected rights of citizens.



Southern authors like Mel Bradford, Richard Weaver, Clyde Wilson and James J. Kilpatrick lent their intelligence, skill as writers, and arguments to a defense of the South. Yet by the late 1980s, that “Southern voice” had pretty much been exiled—expelled—from major establishment conservative journals. Indeed, friendly writers from outside the South, but who were identified with what became known as the Old Right, that is, the non-Neoconservative “right,” were also soon purged from the mastheads of the conservative “mainstream” organs of opinion: noted authors such as Bradford (from National Review), Sam Francis (from The Washington Times), Paul Gottfried (from Modern Age) and others were soon shown the door.



What had happened? How had the movement that began with such promise in the 1950s, essentially with the publication of Kirk’s seminal volume, The Conservative Mind (1953), descended into internecine purges, excommunications, and the sometimes brutal triumph of those—the Neoconservatives—who only a few years earlier had militated in the cadres of the Marxist Left?



To address this question we need to examine the history of the non-Stalinist Left in the United States after World War II. And we need to indicate and pinpoint significant differences between those—the so-called Neocons—who made the pilgrimage from the Left into the conservative movement, and those more traditional conservatives, whose basic beliefs and philosophy were at odds with the newcomers.



In this traversal I utilize the insights of a long list of writers and historians, including the late Richard Weaver, Russell Kirk and Mel Bradford, and more recently, Paul Gottfried and Gary Dorrien—plus my own experiences in witnessing what I term “the great brain robbery of the American conservative movement.”  That is, what can only be described as a subversion and, ultimately, radical transformation of an older American “conservatism” and pattern of thinking by those who, for lack of better words, must be called “leftist refugees” from the more globalist Trotskyite form of Marxism.

Shocked and horrified by the recrudescence of Stalinist anti-semitism in the post-World War II period and disillusioned by the abject economic failures of Stalinism and Communism during the 1960s and 1970s, these “pilgrims away from the Communist Left”—largely but by no means completely Jewish in origin—moved to the Right and a forthright anti-Communism. Notable among their number were such personages as Norman Podhoretz and Irving Kristol, both of whom had sons who figure prominently amongst the current Neocon intellectual establishment.

At first welcomed by an older generation of conservatives, and invited to write for conservative publications and participate in a panoply of conservative activities, they soon began to occupy positions of leadership and importance—and most significantly, to transform and modify historic views associated with conservatism to mirror their own vision. For, in fact, even though shell-shocked by the effects of Soviet Communism, yet they brought with them in their pilgrimage an overarching framework and an essential world view that owed much to their previous militancy on the extreme left. And they brought, equally, their relentless zeal.

Often well-connected financially, with deep pockets and the “correct” friends in high places, within a few years the “Neocons” had pretty much captured and taken control of most of the major “conservative” organs of opinion, journals, think tanks, and, significantly, exercised tremendous influence politically in the Republican Party (and to some degree within the Democratic Party, at least during the presidency of Bill Clinton).

This transformation—this virtual takeover—within conservative ranks, so to speak, did not go unopposed. Indeed, no less than the “father” of the conservative intellectual movement of the 1950s, Russell Kirk, denounced publicly the Neocons in the 1980s. Singling out the intellectual genealogy of major Neocon writers, Kirk boldly declared (December 15, 1988): "Not seldom has it seemed as if some eminent Neoconservatives mistook Tel Aviv for the capital of the United States." (https://www.heritage.org/political-process/report/the-neoconservatives-endangered-species)

Essentially, the Neoconservatives were “unpatriotic” in the sense that they placed their zealously globalist values of equality and liberal democracy ahead of their allegiance to their country, or, rather, converted their allegiance to their country into a kind of “world faith” which trumpeted disconnected “ideas” and airy “propositions” over the concrete history of the American experience, itself. America was the “exceptional nation,” unlike all others, with a supreme duty to go round the world and impose those ideas and that vision on other, unenlightened or recalcitrant nations. To use the words of author Allan Bloom (in his The Closing of the American Mind): “And when we Americans speak seriously about politics we mean that our principles of freedom and equality and the rights based on them are rational and everywhere applicable.” We Americans must engage in “an educational experiment undertaken to force those who do not accept these principles to do so.” (Quoted in Paul Gottfried, War and Democracy, 2012, p. 110)

Although he won few friends among the newly transformed conservative establishment, Russell Kirk’s demurrer and the opposition of luminaries like internationally-recognized historian Paul Gottfried and author-turned-politician Patrick Buchanan starkly demonstrated the differences between the Old Right and the increasingly dominant Neocons.

In these so-called “conservative wars” Southern conservatism, when not sidelined by the Neocon ascendancy, found itself fighting side-by-side with the dwindling contingent on the Old Right. And that was logical, for the Old Right had—during the previous decades—treated the South and Confederacy with sympathy, if not support, while the Neoconservatives embraced a Neo-Abolitionism on race, liberal democracy, and, above all, equality that owed more to the nostrums of historic Marxism than to the historic conservatism that Kirk championed.

The late Mel Bradford, arguably the finest historian and philosopher produced by the South since Richard Weaver, also warned, very presciently in the pages of the Modern Age quarterly (in the Winter issue, 1976) of the incompatibility of the Neocon vision with the inherited traditions and republican constitutionalism of the Founders and Framers. In his long essay, “The Heresy of Equality,” [https://www.unz.com/print/ModernAge-1976q1-00062] which was just one installment in a longstanding debate he had with Dr. Harry Jaffa of the Claremont Institute, Bradford laid bare the abundant intentions of those who came together to form an American nation, while giving the lie to the Neocon narrative that the republic was founded on universalized notions—those “ideas”—of equality and liberal democracy. Those notions, he pointed out perceptively, were a hangover from their days and immersion in the globalist universalism that owed its origin to Marx and Trotsky, and to the Rationalist “philosophes” of the 18th century, rather than to the legacy of kinship and blood, an attachment to community and to the land, and a central religious core that annealed this tradition and continued to make it viable.

What Bradford revealed in his researches, ultimately distilled in his superb volume, Original Intentions: On the Making and Ratification of the American Constitution (Athens, GA, 1993)  and later confirmed in the massive research of Colgate University historian Barry Alan Shain (in his The Declaration of Independence in Historical Context: American State Papers, Petitions, Proclamations, and Letters of the Delegates to the First National Congresses, 2014) was that our old republic was not founded on abstractions about “equality” or “democracy,” or some fanatical zeal to “impose our democracy and equality” on the rest of the world, or that we were “the model for the rest of the world,” to paraphrase Allan Bloom. 

North Carolinian Richard Weaver aptly described the civilization that came to be created in America, most particularly and significantly in the Old South, even a century before the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, as one based on a “communal individualism.” By that he meant that those transferred communities from Europe brought with them a communal conformity which offered certain enumerated liberties to each of its members, or at least to the heads of households of families within those communities. There was a degree of autarky that existed; but in many respects those little communities brought with them inherited mores and beliefs that they had held in the old country, and those beliefs were based essentially in ties of blood and attachments to the soil, to the land.

As historian Richard Beale Davis has demonstrated conclusively in his exhaustive history, Intellectual Life in the Colonial South, 1585-1763 (Knoxville, 1970; 3 vols.), it was in the South where a distinctive communitarian individualism developed which distinguished it almost from the beginning from other regions of America. From the earliest landings at Jamestown and the settlements in South Carolina and Georgia, the Southern colonies developed differently from those of New England. Although by no means in conflict with its inherited British heritage, as were the Puritan settlements and traditions to the north, the South did over the years very gradually modify its rich Anglo-Celtic patrimony, adjusting to distance, circumstance, climate, the presence of Indians, and the mixture of additional folk from other European countries, with their customs and traditions. The result was quantifiably conservative and localist.

Professor Davis equally lays to rest the interpretation of Southern history and character that attributes everything to the presence of slavery. As Professor Bradford, commenting on Davis, makes precise: 

The South thought and acted in its own way before the “peculiar institution” was much           developed within its boundaries. Colonial Southerners did not agonize in a fever of       conscience over the injustice of the condition of those Negroes who were in bondage among them. Contrary to popular misconception, intense moral outrage at slavery was almost unheard of anywhere in the European colonies in the New World until the late eighteenth century, and was decidedly uncommon then. The South embraced slavery in its colonial nonage because Negro slavery seemed to fit the region's needs---and because the region, through the combination  of its intellectual inheritance brought over from the England of the Renaissance with the special conditions of         this hemisphere, had reached   certain practical conclusions. (Bradford, “Where We Were Born and Raised: The Southern Conservative Tradition,” National Humanities Center, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, April 1985, reprinted in The Reactionary Imperative, p. 118)

Commenting on the recent tendency to attach an overriding importance to slavery in the earlier development of Southern culture and character, Davis adds that "...it is difficult to see that in the slave colonies any consistent rationale if indeed any at all developed in defense of the peculiar institution, simply because there was not sufficiently powerful attack upon it to warrant or require a defense." (Davis, p. 1630) The development of a natural and blood-and-soil conservatism of the South predates the furor over slavery.

Let me give a personal, and I think representative example: my father’s family is of Scottish origin. Actually, after leaving ancestral homes in Counties Argyll and Ayrshire, then passing  about fifty years in County Antrim in Ulster, they made the voyage to Philadelphia, arriving in 1716-1717, and settled initially in what is now Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (as deeds show). Their object was cheap and good land on which to raise their families; they were already able to practice their faith in County Antrim, just as they were able to do in Lancaster. And the same “liberties” they had in the old country they also had in Pennsylvania.

Seeking newer and fresh lands, whole families picked up in the later 1730s and made the trip southward along the Great Wagon Road to Augusta County, Virginia, and then, by the 1740s to Rowan County, North Carolina. And what is truly fascinating is that from Scotland (in the early 1600s) to Ulster, to Pennsylvania, to Rowan County, North Carolina, it is the very same families in community, the very same surnames and forenames that one finds in the deed and estate records. Robert W. Ramsey, in his path breaking study, Carolina Cradle: Settlement of the Northwest Carolina Frontier, 1747-1762 (Chapel Hill, 1st edition, 1964), platted the land grants of those pioneers in Rowan County, and over 90% of the family names are the same as those we find in Ulster a century earlier and in the parish registry books of Scotland before that.

And perhaps more striking is that this pattern continued on for another century and more; collateral members of my father’s family made the trek to California in 1848-1849, enticed by promises of gold and new, unploughed lands. There is a community still known as “Catheys Valley” (near Yosemite Park) where they settled, and as late as the 1950s, the same old surnames in the telephone directory still predominated.

But not only do we find the geographical movement of entire families and communities, in the existent correspondence that we do have there is, almost without exception, no word about traveling west or crossing the ocean to seek “freedom” or “equality” or to “create a new nation founded on [globalist and egalitarian] principles.”

Our ancestors were not seeking to establish a “Shining City on a Hill” like the New England Puritans and their descendants, or “create a new people,” but rather to preserve and enhance the old. When those settlers wrote about their experiences, if at all, it was about their respective families and communities having a better life, about cheaper and virgin farm lands, and about conserving the inheritance and traditions they took with them.  In other words, the 18th century philosophy of Rationalism, and the ideas of “equality” and “democracy” that we are too inclined to attribute to them, don’t really appear on nearly any level.

And this, at base, practical and communal individualism is reflected in the deliberations preceding the Declaration and then, even more so, by the Framers in 1787—as both Bradford and Shain have convincingly shown. The documentary evidence in every form confirms that. The “right to equality” enshrined in the Declaration is an “equality” viewed from the Colonies across the Atlantic to the English Parliament,  equality as to the “rights of Englishmen,” not to social or economic revolution in the former colonies.

Those deliberations in Philadelphia were the product of a community of states, each with their own peculiarities, their own communities of families, with traditions inherited from Christian Europe (largely from the British Isles), and the desire to both preserve that inheritance while co-existing and collaborating with other communities and states in the creation of the American republic, where those traditions and that inheritance would be protected and respected, and could prosper as its families and communities prospered.

And in large part that result was the product of great Southerners, Virginians and Carolinians. It was a result that functioned well for eighty years. The legacy of Northern victory in 1865 was the overthrow of the original republic created by those men, which, in effect, paved the way for the present-day success of the Neoconservatives and the triumph of what the late Sam Francis called the managerial state…and what we now call the Deep State.

Given this history and this context, both the War Between the States and subsequent American history after that conflict, and with the modern displacement by the Neocons of the traditional (and Southern) conservatives and their opposition to the growth in government and to the destruction of those bonds and traditions that characterized the country for centuries, the results we observe around us do not augur well for the future. While the hard core cultural and political Marxist Left continues its rampage through our remaining inherited institutions, those self-erected Neocon defenders accept at least implicitly, many of the same philosophical premises, the intellectual framework of argument, and the long range objectives of their supposed opponents.

Ironically, although they may appear at times in major disagreement, both the hard core multicultural Left and the Neocon “Right” share a commitment to the globalist belief in American “exceptionalism.” In explaining this exceptionalism, they use the same language—about “equality” and “democracy” and “human rights” and “freedom,” its uniqueness to the United States, and the desirability to export its benefits. But, then, the proponents of the dominant Left and of the establishment Neocon Right will appear variously on Fox or on MSNBC, or in the pages of National Review or of The Weekly Standard, to furiously deny the meaning given by their opponents…but all the while using the same linguistic template and positing goals—in civil rights, foreign policy, etc.—which seem remarkably similar, but over which they argue incessantly about the “means.”

Thus, in their zealous defense of the “civil rights” legislation of the 1960s and their advocacy of what they term “moderate feminism” and “equal rights for women” (now extended to same sex marriage), the Neocons mirror the ongoing revolution from the Left and accept generally its overarching premises, even while declaring their fealty to historic American traditions and historic Western Christianity.  

It is a defense—if we can call it that—that leads to continuous surrender, if not betrayal, to the Revolution and the subsequent acceptance by those defenders of the latest conquest and advance by the Left, and their subsequent attempt to justify and rationalize to the rest of us why the most recent aberration—same sex marriage, or “gender fluidity”—is actually conservative. Or, that it is critically necessary to send American boys to die in faraway jungles or deserts to “establish democracy,” that is, prevent one group of bloodthirsty fanatical Muslims from killing off another group of bloodthirsty fanatical Muslims—this latter group, of course, willing to do our bidding economically and politically. And all in the name of spreading—mostly we should say imposing—global “equality” and “freedom” and the “fruits of American exceptionalism.”

Neither the leftist Marxist multiculturalists nor the Neoconservatives reflect the genuine beliefs or inheritance left to us by those who came to these shores centuries ago. Both reject the historic conservatism of the South, which embodied that inheritance and the vision of the Founders.

They offer, instead, the spectacle of factions fighting over the increasingly putrid spoils of a once great nation which becomes increasingly weaker and more infected as they assume the roles similar to that of gaming Centurions at the Crucifixion.

The election of Trump threw them—both the cultural Left but also the establishment Neoconservatives—off stride, at least temporarily.  And the history of the past year and a half has been a continuous sequence of their efforts to either displace the new administration (by the hard Left and some Never Trumpers) or surround the president and convert him, or at a minimum neuter his “blood and soil,” America First inclinations (by many of the establishment Neocon and their GOP minions).

Who wins this battle, who wins this war, will determine the future of this nation and whether the dominant Deep State narrative, shared by both the establishment Left AND the establishment conservatives, will complete its triumph.

Monday, April 23, 2018


April 23, 2018



MY CORNER by Boyd Cathey



Connecting the Dots on the English Poisoning Event, Syria, and the Zeal for War—Deep State At Work



Friends,

Tying up some loose ends today, hopefully to provide context and a summarization of recent occurrences in foreign affairs….

The three items I pass on add fascinating perspective and background to what appears to have been a very unsavory manipulation aimed at getting the United States back into war in the Middle East, just one week after President Trump had announced a winding down of American involvement in Syria—his attempt to comply with his oft-enunciated promise to disengage the country from conflict areas where no direct foreign policy interests exist.

After all, the ISIS Islamist jihadists had all but been defeated in that country, their members now dispersed elsewhere in the Middle East. And the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad was winning—had almost won—its civil war against the jihadi extremists.

But such a result did not fit well with the geopolitical plans of the zealous war hawks, the Neoconservatives.  But it is not only the Necons who have pressed for boots on the ground and actions that could bring us face to face with the Russian military, but also almost the entirety of the Democratic Party, which now nearly outdoes the Neocons and GOP establishment in bloodcurdling calls for more involvement, more war, and, potentially, more conflict with Russia.

And also Israel, which sees Assad as an ally of Iran, and thus supports Islamist rebels against his government, even if that means supporting radical terrorists and vicious butchers of Christians (who strongly support President Assad).

For the Neoconservatives, a broader conflict in Syria, more American offensive involvement and eventual forced regime change (despite the inherent dangers), form a central platform of their globalist philosophy of essentially imposing “democracy and equality” across the face of the globe: in a real sense, such a program partakes of a quasi-religious zeal, a kind of unleashed desire to create and install a secular global utopia founded on their delusional conceptions of equality and democracy.

For the Democrats and the “farther Left” and hard core Marxists, greater American involvement in Syria demonstrates, as well, their commitment to equality and democracy (as they define them), but is also seen as a means to eventually injure and weaken President Trump, undermine his domestic agenda, while pushing their newfound Russophobia and template of Russian responsibility for everything bad that has happened to…Hillary, the Democratic Party, the DNC, Facebook, Twitter, the Internet, and almost any other suspicious event that can be cobbled together needing a convenient culprit.

Ambassador Craig Murray is a prominent British diplomat and has for some time raised doubts about the sequence of events in the Middle East, as well as the Wikileaks controversy from last year.  The first item I pass on is a long, comprehensive chronology and a “fitting-of-the-pieces-of-the-puzzle-together” narrative that merits wider distribution. Effectively, he ties in the poisoning of the Skripals in England with the purported gassing in the Syrian village of Douma. There is, states Murray, a direct nexus, a direct correlation and rationale for what happened and why it happened.

 Murray, let it be said, is no right winger; nevertheless, he has captured the overall and overarching picture and context of events which should cause every patriotic American AND Briton extreme discomfort and anger. The international Deep State is exposed in its machinations…and that should elicit protests and action in the voting booth for us all.

Two additional pieces, both shorter, address the media attention to the Douma gassing and the mounting skepticism concerning it, and evidence pointing to non-Russian responsibility for the Skripal attack.

All three items are valuable, useful information as events continue to develop. The New World Order is still on the march with its frenzied Deep State minions never sleeping.

================================================================



Tracing the Rush to War


CRAIG MURRAY • APRIL 15, 2018

[Ambassador Murray is a British diplomat, author and journalist]

April 9th • The Rush to War


I have never ruled out the possibility that Russia is responsible for the attack in Salisbury, amongst other possibilities. But I do rule out the possibility that Assad is dropping chemical weapons in Ghouta. In this extraordinary war, where Saudi-funded jihadist head choppers have Israeli air support and US and UK military “advisers”, every time the Syrian army is about to take complete control of a major jihadist enclave, at the last moment when victory is in their grasp, the Syrian Army allegedly attacks children with chemical weapons, for no military reason at all. We have been fed this narrative again and again and again.



We then face a propaganda onslaught from neo-conservative politicians, think tanks and “charities” urging a great rain of Western bombs and missiles, and are accused of callousness towards suffering children if we demur. This despite the certain knowledge that Western military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya have had consequences which remain to this day utterly disastrous.



I fear that the massive orchestration of Russophobia over the last two years is intended to prepare public opinion for a wider military conflict centred on the Middle East, but likely to spread, and that we are approaching that endgame. The dislocation of the political and media class from the general population is such, that the levers for people of goodwill to prevent this are, as with Iraq, extremely few as politicians quake in the face of media jingoism. These feel like extremely dangerous times.



April 11th • The Four Horsemen Gallop By


The media onslaught has moved past the attack in Salisbury by a “weapon of mass destruction” (quoting Prime Minister Theresa May) which could only be Russian, except that was untrue, and was extremely deadly, except that was untrue too. It now focuses on an attack by chemical weapons in Douma which “could only be” by the Russian-backed Assad regime, except there is no evidence of that either, and indeed neutral verified evidence from Douma is non-existent. [The ONLY evidence comes from anti-Assad jihadists—the Army of Islam—on the ground.] The combination of the two events is supposed to have the British population revved up by jingoism, and indeed does have Tony Blair and assorted Tories revved up, to attack Syria and potentially to enter conflict with Russia in Syria.



The “Russian” attack in Salisbury is supposed to negate the “not our war” argument, particularly as a British policeman was unwell for a while. Precisely what is meant to negate the “why on earth are we entering armed confrontation with a nuclear power” argument, I do not know.

Saudi Arabia has naturally offered facilities to support the UK, US and France in their attempt to turn the military tide in Syria in favour of the Saudi sponsored jihadists whom Assad had come close to defeating. That the Skripal and Douma incidents were preceded by extremely intense diplomatic activity between Saudi Arabia, Washington, Paris and London this year, with multiple top level visits between capitals, is presumably supposed to be coincidence.



I am not a fan of Assad any more than I was a fan of Saddam Hussein. But the public now understand that wars for regime change in Muslim lands have disastrous effects in dead and maimed adults and children and in destroyed infrastructure; our attacks unleash huge refugee waves and directly cause terrorist attacks here at home. There is no purpose in a military attack on Syria other than to attempt to help the jihadists overthrow Assad. There is a reckless disregard for evidence base on the pretexts for all this. Indeed, the more the evidence is scrutinised, the dodgier it seems. Finally there is a massive difference between mainstream media narrative around these events and a deeply sceptical public, as shown in social media and in comments sections of corporate media websites.



The notion that Britain will take part in military action against Syria with neither investigation of the evidence nor a parliamentary vote is worrying indeed. Without Security Council authorisation, any such action is illegal in any event. It is worth noting that the many commentators who attempt to portray Russia’s veto of a Syria resolution as invalid, fail to note that last week, in two separate 14 against 1 votes, the USA vetoed security council resolutions condemning Israeli killings of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza.



The lesson the neo-cons learnt from the Iraq war is not that it was disastrous. It was only disastrous for the dead and maimed Iraqis, our own dead and maimed servicemen, and those whose country was returned to medievalism. It was a great success for the neo-cons, they made loads of money on armaments and oil. The lesson the neo-cons learned was not to give the public in the West any time to mount and organise opposition. Hence the destruction of Libya was predicated on an entirely false “we have 48 hours to prevent the massacre of the population of Benghazi” narrative. Similarly this latest orchestrated “crisis” is being followed through into military action at a blistering pace, as the four horsemen sweep by, scything down reason and justice on the way.



April 11th • Yulia Skripal Is Plainly Under Duress


Only the Russians have allowed us to hear the actual voice of Yulia Skripal, in that recorded conversation with her cousin. So the one thing we know for certain is that, at the very first opportunity she had, she called back to her cousin in Russia to let her know what is going on. If you can recall, until the Russians released that phone call, the British authorities were still telling lies that Sergei was in a coma and Yulia herself in a serious condition.



We do not know how Yulia got to make the call. Having myself been admitted unconscious to hospital on several occasions, each time when I came to I found my mobile phone in my bedside cabinet. Yulia’s mobile phone plainly had been removed from her and not returned. Nor had she been given an official one – she specifically told her cousin that she could not call her back on that phone as she had it temporarily. The British government could have given her one to keep on which she could be called back, had they wished to help her.



The most probable explanation is that Yulia persuaded somebody else in the hospital to lend her a phone, without British officials realising. That would explain why the first instinct of the British state and its lackey media was to doubt the authenticity of the call. It would explain why she was able to contradict the official narrative on their health, and why she couldn’t get a return call. It would, more importantly, explain why her family has not been able to hear her voice since. Nor has anybody else.



It strikes me as inherently improbable that, when Yulia called her cousin as her first act the very moment she was able, she would now issue a formal statement through Scotland Yard forbidding her cousin to be in touch or visit. I simply do not believe this British Police statement:



“I was discharged from Salisbury District Hospital on the 9th April 2018. I was treated there with obvious clinical expertise and with such kindness, that I have found I missed the staff immediately. I have left my father in their care, and he is still seriously ill. I too am still suffering with the effects of the nerve agent used against us.
“I find myself in a totally different life than the ordinary one I left just over a month ago, and I am seeking to come to terms with my prospects, whilst also recovering from this attack on me.
“I have specially trained officers available to me, who are helping to take care of me and to explain the investigative processes that are being undertaken. I have access to friends and family, and I have been made aware of my specific contacts at the Russian Embassy who have kindly offered me their assistance in any way they can. At the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services, but, if I change my mind I know how to contact them.
“Most importantly, I am safe and feeling better as time goes by, but I am not yet strong enough to give a full interview to the media, as I one day hope to do. Until that time, I want to stress that no one speaks for me, or for my father, but ourselves. I thank my cousin Viktoria for her concern for us, but ask that she does not visit me or try to contact me for the time being. Her opinions and assertions are not mine and they are not my father’s.
“For the moment I do not wish to speak to the press or the media, and ask for their understanding and patience whilst I try to come to terms with my current situation.”



There is also the very serious question of the language it is written in. Yulia Skripal lived part of her childhood in the UK and speaks good English. But the above statement is in a particular type of formal, official English of a high level which only comes from a certain kind of native speaker.

“At the moment I do not wish to avail myself of their services” – wrote no native Russian speaker, ever.



Nor are the rhythms or idioms such as would in any way indicate a translation from Russian. Take “I thank my cousin Viktoria for her concern for us, but ask that she does not visit me or try to contact me for the time being. Her opinions and assertions are not mine and they are not my father’s.” Not only is this incredibly cold given her first impulse was to phone her cousin, the language is just wrong. It is not the English Yulia would write and it is awkward to translate into Russian, thus not a natural translation from it.



To put it plainly, as someone who has much experience of it, the English of the statement is precisely the English of an official in the UK security services and precisely not the English of somebody like Yulia Skripal or of a natural translation from Russian.



Yulia is, of course, in protective custody “for her own safety”. At the very best, she is being psychologically force-fed the story about the evil Russian government attempting to poison her with the doorknob, and she is being kept totally isolated from any influence that may reinforce any doubts she feels as to that story. There are much worse alternatives involving threat or the safety of her father. But even at the most benevolent reading of the British authorities’ actions, Yulia Skripal is being kept incommunicado, and under duress.



April 12th • OPCW Salisbury Report Confirms Nothing But the Identity of the Chemical


The word “Russia” does not occur in today’s OPCW report. The OPCW Report says nothing whatsoever about the origin of the chemical which poisoned the Skripals and certainly does not link it in any way to Russia.



The technical ability of Porton Down to identify a chemical has never been in doubt, and the only “finding of the United Kingdom” the OPCW has confirmed is the identity of the chemical.



10. The results of analysis by the OPCW designated laboratories of environmental and
biomedical samples collected by the OPCW team confirm the findings of the United
Kingdom relating to the identity of the toxic chemical that was used in Salisbury and
severely injured three people.
11. The TAV team notes that the toxic chemical was of high purity. The latter is
concluded from the almost complete absence of impurities
.



There are scores of countries that chemical could have come from. For the BBC and other mainstream media outlets to pretend that the OPCW has in any sense endorsed Boris Johnson’s claims about Russia is to spread deliberate lies as propaganda. In fact what they have confirmed is simply the finding of Porton Down – and that finding was that it is a chemical which cannot be confirmed as made in Russia.



April 13th • Some Dead Children Count More Than Others


The ever excellent Campaign Against the Arms Trade is back in the English High Court again today in its continuing attempts to ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia. It is against UK law to sell arms to a country which is likely to use them in breach of international humanitarian law, and that Saudi Arabia consistently and regularly uses British weapons to bomb schools, hospitals and civilians is indisputable.



Unfortunately the courts are an instrument of power and control for the 1%, not an impartial resort for justice, so I fear CAAT will not succeed despite the fact their case is undeniably correct.

Part of the British Government’s defence is the close military support it gives to Saudi Arabia, which it claims minimises civilian deaths (it plainly does no such thing). Thousands of children have died in the Yemeni war, most killed by the Saudis and their allies. These war crimes have been documented by the United Nations despite concerted UK and US diplomacy at the UN aimed at downplaying the Saudi crimes. Cluster bombs, white phosphorous and other illegal weapons have frequently been used.



Yemeni dead children very seldom make in into the mainstream media, whereas Syrian children do. But not all Syrian children – those children killed by the jihadist head-choppers the West and its Saudi allies have armed, funded and “advised” do not make the corporate and state media either. Only children allegedly – and the word needs repeating, allegedly – gassed by the Syrian armed forces are apparently worth our attention.



If we really attack because we care about the children, we would be attacking Saudi Arabia to halt its atrocities in Yemen. Instead we are allying with Saudi Arabia – the child killers, UK military support to whom is today being stressed in the High Court – to attack Syria.



Anybody who believes this is anything to do with “humanitarian intervention” is a complete fool.



April 14th • Just Who’s Pulling the Strings?


*March 4 2018 Sergei and Yulia Skripal are attacked with a nerve agent in Salisbury

*March 6 2018 Boris Johnson blames Russia and calls Russia “a malign force”

*March 7 2018 Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia arrives in London for an official visit

*March 13 2018 Valeri Gerasimov, Russian Chief of General Staff, states that Russia has intelligence a fake chemical attack is planned against civilians in Syria as a pretext for US bombing of Damascus, and that Russia will respond.

*March 19 2018 Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia arrives in Washington for an official visit

*April 8 2018 Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia arrives in Paris for an official visit

*April 8 2018 Saudi funded jihadist groups Jaysh al Islam  [Army of Islam] and Tahrir al-Sham and UK funded jihadist “rescue group” The White Helmets claim a chemical weapons attack occurred in their enclave of Douma the previous day – just before its agreed handover to the Syrian army – and blame the Syrian government.

*April 11 2018 Saudi Arabia pledges support for attack on Syria

*April 14 2018 US/UK/French attack on Syria begins.



I have always denied the UK’s claim that only Russia had a motive to attack the Skripals. To denigrate Russia internationally by a false flag attack pinning the blame on Russia, always seemed to me more likely than for the Russians to do that to themselves. And from the start I pointed to the conflict in Syria as a likely motive. That puts Saudi Arabia (and its client jihadists), Saudi Arabia’s close ally Israel, the UK and the USA all in the frame in having a powerful motive in inculcating anti-Russian sentiment prior to planned conflict with Russia in Syria. Any of them could have attacked the Skripals.



Today, Theresa May is claiming -astonishingly – that the UK attack on Syria is “to deter chemical weapons attacks in Syria and the UK”. I don’t think the motive for a Skripal false flag could be more starkly demonstrated.



We do not yet know how many children and other civilians have died so far in what the media always pretend are magically “pinpoint” attacks on Syria. Denying the “collateral damage” is part of the neo-con playbook. The danger is that they will not stop but continue to push, testing how far they can go in weakening Syrian government forces to promote their jihadist allies on the ground, before they spark a real Russian reaction. That way madness lies.



It is also worth noting that the most ardent supporters of this military action, outside Saudi Arabia and Israel, are the Blairites in the UK and the Clinton Democrats in the USA. The self-described “centrists” are actually the unhinged extremists in today’s politics.



This attack on Syria is, beyond doubt, a huge success for the machinations of Mohammed Bin Salman. Please do read my post of 8 March which sets out the background to his agenda, and I believe is essential to why we find our nations in military action again today. Despite the fact the vast majority of the people do not want this.



April 15th • The British Government’s Legal Justification for Bombing is Entirely False and Without Merit


Theresa May has issued a long legal justification for UK participation in an attack on a sovereign state. This is so flawed as to be totally worthless. It specifically claims as customary international law practices which are rejected by a large majority of states and therefore cannot be customary international law. It is therefore secondary and of no consequence that the facts and interpretations the argument cites in this particular case are erroneous, but it so happens they are indeed absolutely erroneous.



Let me put before you the government’s legal case in full:

1. This is the Government’s position on the legality of UK military action to alleviate the extreme humanitarian suffering of the Syrian people by degrading the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons capability and deterring their further use, following the chemical weapons attack in Douma on 7 April 2018.



2. The Syrian regime has been killing its own people for seven years. Its use of chemical weapons, which has exacerbated the human suffering, is a serious crime of international concern, as a breach of the customary international law prohibition on the use of chemical weapons, and amounts to a war crime and a crime against humanity.



3. The UK is permitted under international law, on an exceptional basis, to take measures in order to alleviate overwhelming humanitarian suffering. The legal basis for the use of force is humanitarian intervention, which requires three conditions to be met:

(i) there is convincing evidence, generally accepted by the international community as a whole, of extreme humanitarian distress on a large scale, requiring immediate and urgent relief;

(ii) it must be objectively clear that there is no practicable alternative to the use of force if lives are to be saved; and

(iii) the proposed use of force must be necessary and proportionate to the aim of relief of humanitarian suffering and must be strictly limited in time and in scope to this aim (i.e. the minimum necessary to achieve that end and for no other purpose).



4. The UK considers that military action met the requirements of humanitarian intervention in the circumstances of the present case:

(i) The Syrian regime has been using chemical weapons since 2013. The attack in Eastern Damascus on 21 August 2013 left over 800 people dead. The Syrian regime failed to implement its commitment in 2013 to ensure the destruction of its chemical weapons capability. The chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhoun in April 2017 killed approximately 80 people and left hundreds more injured. The recent attack in Douma has killed up to 75 people, and injured over 500 people. Over 400,000 people have now died over the course of the conflict in Syria, the vast majority civilians. Over half of the Syrian population has been displaced, with over 13 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. The repeated, lethal use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime constitutes a war crime and a crime against humanity. On the basis of what we know about the Syrian regime’s pattern of use of chemical weapons to date, it was highly likely that the regime would seek to use chemical weapons again, leading to further suffering and loss of civilian life as well as the continued displacement of the civilian population.



(ii) Actions by the UK and its international partners to alleviate the humanitarian suffering caused by the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime at the UN Security Council have been repeatedly blocked by the regime’s and its allies’ disregard for international norms, including the international law prohibition on the use of chemical weapons. This last week, Russia vetoed yet another resolution in the Security Council, thwarting the establishment of an impartial investigative mechanism. Since 2013, neither diplomatic action, tough sanctions, nor the US strikes against the Shayrat airbase in April 2017 have sufficiently degraded Syrian chemical weapons capability or deterred the Syrian regime from causing extreme humanitarian distress on a large scale through its persistent use of chemical weapons. There was no practicable alternative to the truly exceptional use of force to degrade the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons capability and deter their further use by the Syrian regime in order to alleviate humanitarian suffering.

(iii) In these circumstances, and as an exceptional measure on grounds of overwhelming humanitarian necessity, military intervention to strike carefully considered, specifically identified targets in order effectively to alleviate humanitarian distress by degrading the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons capability and deterring further chemical weapons attacks was necessary and proportionate and therefore legally justifiable. Such an intervention was directed exclusively to averting a humanitarian catastrophe caused by the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons, and the action was the minimum judged necessary for that purpose.



***



The first thing to note is that this “legal argument” cites no authority. It does not quote the UN Charter, any Security Council Resolution or any international treaty or agreement of any kind which justifies this action. This is because there is absolutely nothing which can be quoted – all the relevant texts say that an attack on another state is illegal without authorisation of the UN Security Council under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.



Nor does the government quote any judgement of the International Court of Justice, International Criminal Court or any other international legal authority. This is important because rather than any treatment, the government makes a specific claim its actions are justified by customary international law, which means accepted state practice. But the existence of such state practice is usually proven through existing court judgements, and there are no judgements that endorse the approach taken by the government in its argument.



The three “tests” set out under para 3 as to what is permitted under international law are not in fact a statement of anything other than the UK’s own position. These “tests” are specifically quoted by Ola Engdahl in Bailliet and Larsen (ed) “Promoting Peace Through International Law” (Oxford University Press 2015). Engdahl notes:



The UK position, that it is permitted to take coercive action under a doctrine of humanitarian intervention when certain conditions are met, is a minority view and does not reflect lex data on the prohibition of the use of force in international relations as expressed in article 2(4) of the UN Charter.



That is undeniably true, and as it is equally undeniably true that a minority view cannot be customary international law, the British government position is utterly devoid of merit.



The Government argument is a classic statement of the doctrine of “liberal intervention”, which is of course the mantra adopted by neo-conservatives over the last 30 years to justify resource grabs. It is not in any way accepted as customary international law. It is a doctrine opposed by a very large number of states, and certainly by the great majority of African, South American and Asian states. (African states have occasionally advocated the idea that UN Security Council authorisation may be replaced by the endorsement of a UN recognised regional authority such as ECOWAS or the African Union. This was the Nigerian position over Liberia 20 years ago. The Security Council authorised ECOWAS action anyway, so no discord arose. The current Nigerian government does not support intervention without security council authorisation).



The examples of “liberal intervention” most commonly used by its advocates are Sierra Leone and Libya. My book “The Catholic Orangemen of Togo” details my experiences as UK Representative at the Sierra Leone peace talks, and I hope will convince you that the accepted story of that war is a lie. Libya too has been a disaster, and it is not a precedent for the government’s legal argument as the western forces employed were operating under cover of a UN Security Council Resolution authorising force, albeit only to enforce a no fly zone.



In fact, if the British government were to offer examples of state practice to attempt to prove that the doctrine it outlines is indeed customary international law, the most appropriate recent examples are Russian military intervention in Ukraine and Georgia. I oppose those Russian interventions as I oppose the UK/US/French actions now. It is not a question of “sides” it is a question of the illegality of military action against other states.



The rest of the government’s argument is entirely hypothetical, because as the liberal intervention doctrine is not customary international law these arguments cannot justify intervention.



But the evidence that Assad used chemical weapons against Douma is non-existent, and the OPCW did not conclude that the Assad government was responsible for the attack on Khan Sheikhoun. There is no evidence whatsoever that military action was urgently required to avert another such “immediate” attack. Nor is it true that the UK’s analysis of the situation is “generally accepted” by the international community, as witness China and Russia voting together in the Security Council yesterday to condemn the attack.



So the British government sets up its own “three tests” which have no legal standing and are entirely a British concoction, yet still manages to fail them.



(Republished from CraigMurray.org.uk by permission of author or representative)

Even western mainstream media is reporting that no chemical attack took place in Douma http://theduran.com/western-media-says-no-gas-in-syrai/?mc_cid=c7fa80d167&mc_eid=42e11870e2

Medical personnel on the ground in Syria give testimony that those videos show people suffering from hypoxia – not gas poisoning

by FRANK SELLERSApril 18, 2018 Share
On April 7th, an attack was carried out in the town of Douma, just a few kilometers out of Syria’s capital, Damascus, which was occupied by radical terrorist forces. The attack was peddled as a chemical weapons attack using chlorine gas, and it was additionally reported to have included some unknown nerve agent (which apparently the White Helmet guys who were filming the incident were somehow immune to), which was then said to have killed at least 75 people, and, according to the UK Prime Minister Theresa May, also resulted in the deaths of 500 more, all based on social media postings, based on what is being revealed to the public anyway, by groups that have known links and coincidental interests with the very radical terrorists that Western governments are claiming to be fighting.
Additionally, these media outlets and governments have been quick to thrust blame in the direction of Syrian government forces, particularly on the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, before any independent organization has conducted an investigation to determine whether the attack was of a chemical nature or who carried out the attack in the first place.
The US, UK, and France are, however, continuing to insist that the attack was chemical in nature, and that Assad conducted the attack, of course, without having any of their own assets on the ground to conduct any observations or investigations in Douma, citing “intelligence”, which, of course, is classified, and will not be released to the public in order to bolster their “confidence” that Assad ordered a chemical attack on his own citizens “including young children” at a time when his forces were retaking the town already anyway.
In fact, the US and France have even insisted that they have “proof” that they are “highly confident that they believe in” that Assad did, in fact, conduct a chemical weapons attack on his own civilian population in Douma, once again, including women and young children. Meanwhile, the Kremlin has been warning for monthsthat provocateurs were preparing to launch a chemical attack in Syria in order to blame their opposition, the Syrian government, and provoke a Western military response to help them in their conflict against Assad’s forces.
On the basis of this alleged chemical attack, that the West says that it is highly confident that Assad ordered, a military “precision strike” was conducted by a coalition of US, British, and French forces on the Syrian capital of Damascus, for the purpose of destroying or significantly disrupting the Syrian government’s capability to manufacture, store and employ chemical weapons, as well as to serve as a deterrent against any future chemical weapons attack, which the US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley says will actually happen again, and which recurrence will be met with yet another coordinated response by the US and its allies.
The strike took place just hours before the UN’s Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons expert investigators were due to arrive at the scene of the alleged chemical attack to determine if reports about the suspected attack were, or are, in fact, true.
We are being told that the coordinated missile strike, included over 100 missiles, including American Tomahawks, struck chemical weapons research and manufacturing facilities in Damascus, which apparently didn’t result in any dangerous banned chemicals or nerve agents being released into the surrounding area, which would have been utterly devastating to hundreds of people in the area, if not more.
Now, all of the sudden, after conducting a few interviews with witnesses from the site of the attack, even some mainstream Western invesigative journalists are questioning the narrative that has been published about a chemical gas attack in Douma.
The world’s third largest news agency, Agence France-Presse (AFP), and a major British online newspaper, the Independent, are publishing stories which are casting doubt on the whole chemical gas attack narrative that we have been being fed since the date of the attack, and which Western governments are claiming “proof” for, which, of course, they are “highly confident” in, and which was used as a justification for a military intervention in Syria against the capital city of a government that is fighting the same bad guys that these very Western governments say they have spent, and continue to throw money at, billions on.
The AFP spoke with Marwan Jaber, a medical student who witnessed the aftermath of the alleged chemical attack, who said “Some of [the victims] suffered from asthma and pulmonary inflammation. They received routine treatment and some were even sent home, they showed no symptoms of a chemical attack. But some foreigners entered while we were in a state of chaos and sprinkled people with water, and some of them were even filming it.”:
The Syrian regime on Monday (April 16th) organized a press visit to the city of Duma in Eastern Ghouta, where an alleged chemical attack on April 7 killed at least 40 people, shortly before the regime’s forces took over the city, then held by the rebels. The team of the International Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had still not been able to enter the city on Monday.
It was a short walk to Dr Rahaibani. From the door of his subterranean clinic – “Point 200”, it is called, in the weird geology of this partly-underground city – is a corridor leading downhill where he showed me his lowly hospital and the few beds where a small girl was crying as nurses treated a cut above her eye.
“I was with my family in the basement of my home three hundred metres from here on the night but all the doctors know what happened. There was a lot of shelling [by government forces] and aircraft were always over Douma at night – but on this night, there was wind and huge dust clouds began to come into the basements and cellars where people lived. People began to arrive here suffering from hypoxia, oxygen loss. Then someone at the door, a “White Helmet”, shouted “Gas!”, and a panic began. People started throwing water over each other. Yes, the video was filmed here, it is genuine, but what you see are people suffering from hypoxia – not gas poisoning.”
But, just like the story with Saddam Hussein went when these very Western government wanted so bad to follow the American’s blood lust for war in Iraq, this government, so they say, has weapons of mass destruction, and is lead by not just any old tyrannical dictator, but a “monster” who is using these banned WMDs on his own population (apparently for the sheer sadistic pleasure of it), for no good reason. And, of course, without any verifiable intelligence resulting from any on the ground investigation by anyone trained to look for the stuff.
In fact, here we are seeing reports from journalists, western ones, I might add, that report the opposite of what we have been told for the past ten days. No use of WMDs being used in Douma, or at least, no evidence of it anyway. And, based on the fact that the US led strike on Syria’s alleged chemical weapons labs and storehouses didn’t release any of these agents into the area when the strike should have spread the stuff all over the place, it looks like Syria doesn’t have those WMDs, or, at least the West doesn’t know where they’re at, and just randomly shot off a couple of missiles to make it look like they were doing something about those WMDs.





UK involved in Skripal poisoning, NOT Russia – evidence from Swiss lab shows          http://theduran.com/uk-involved-in-skripal-poisoning-not-russia-evidence-from-swiss-lab-shows/?mc_cid=fea32e83a0&mc_eid=42e11870e2 

Comparison of BZ and Novichok nerve agents reveals strong evidence to support that Sergey Lavrov’s claim in the Skripal case is in fact, true, creating a real problem for the UK leadership

by SERAPHIM HANISCHApril 16, 2018
As attention seemed to rapidly wane concerning the US air and missile strikes in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made a stunning announcement, saying that the samples of the nerve agent used on Sergey and Yulia Skripal was not a Novichok agent, but in fact something that NATO codenamed “BZ.” This is a major statement because of what BZ actually is, and what Novichok agents are understood to be.
Novichok agents are highly deadly nerve agents, developed by the Soviet Union and later the Russian Federation, during a time period spanning the years 1971 to 1993. The compounds under this program were distinguished in these ways, according to the report on Wikipedia:

  • Russian scientists who developed the agents claim they are the deadliest nerve agents made,
  • some variants possibly five to eight times more potent than VX,
  • other variants up to ten times more potent than soman.
  • They were designed as part of a Soviet program codenamed “FOLIANT”.
  • Five Novichok variants are believed to have been adapted for military use.
  • The most versatile is A-232 (Novichok-5).
  • Novichok agents have never been used on the battlefield.
  • Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and many heads of state, said that one such agent was used in the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in England in March 2018.


Russia denies producing or researching agents “under the title Novichok”. So the upshot of the Novichok agents is their lethality. In fact, one of the developers of this was quoted repeatedly during the earlier days of the Skripal story, pointing out that there is no cure and no preventative or even reparative procedure that is known to be able to stop a Novichok agent from killing its intended victim.   While this is not quite true, the Wiki entry does show that the likelihood of a full recovery to normal living is not at all easy: 

“…[N]ovichok agents may cause lasting nerve damage, resulting in permanent disabling of victims, according to Russian scientists. Their effect on humans was demonstrated by the accidental exposure of Andrei Zheleznyakov, one of the scientists involved in their development, to the residue of an unspecified Novichok agent while working in a Moscow laboratory in May 1987.
“He was critically injured and took ten days to recover consciousness after the incident. He lost the ability to walk and was treated at a secret clinic in Leningrad for three months afterwards. The agent caused permanent harm, with effects that included “chronic weakness in his arms, a toxic hepatitis that gave rise to cirrhosis of the liver, epilepsy, spells of severe depression, and an inability to read or concentrate that left him totally disabled and unable to work.”

He never recovered and died in July 1992 after five years of deteriorating health.”
However, Yulia Skripal appears to have recovered, and now Sergey is also in recovery. The Washington Post questioned this in this piece dated April 6th. And the Washington Post is a very liberal paper, but they still ran this piece to try to explain how it is that two people allegedly poisoned by a “no way out” chemical agents are in fact getting better.
The BZ agents are very different in purpose from Novichok.
BZ is known in the chemical field as 3-Quinuclidinyl benzilate. This agent is NOT a nerve toxin. It is not a Novichok at all. This agent is referred to as an “incapacitating agent”, which is defined by the US Department of Defense as:
“An agent that produces temporary physiological or mental effects, or both, which will render individuals incapable of concerted effort in the performance of their assigned duties.”
Such an agent can, of course kill, but for many of its victims who do die, they die because the chemical makes them actually unable tl avoid it.
The concept of “humane warfare” with widespread use of incapacitating or deleriant drugs such as LSD or Agent BZ to stun an enemy, capture them alive, or separate friend from foe had been available in locations such as Berlin since the 1950s, an initial focus of US CBW development was the offensive use of diseases, drugs, and substances that could completely incapacitate an enemy for several days with some lesser possibility of death using a variety of chemical, biological, radiological, or toxin agents.
So, here we have reference to BZ as a specifically non-lethal agent.
Both the Skripals are alive and recovering from an alleged agent that was supposedly inevitably going to kill them.
While this does not give us 100 percent assurance that the Russian Foreign Minister is telling the truth, it certainly pokes major holes in the allegation from the UK that a Russian Novichok agent was used (by order of President Putin, so the story goes).
Mr. Lavrov’s clear declaration of the use of BZ is also much more substantiated than the British allegation is. There is a bigger problem, though.
Both parties may be lying.
While the Russian position is much more thoroughly substantiated, the factor remains that each country has the right to make its own propaganda. What is true is that the British attempt seems to be based more on innuendo, and the initial refusal of the UK to give Russia samples for examination (according to OPCW rules) did not do their side’s cause any favors.
Further, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was citing the results of the examination conducted by a Swiss chemical lab that worked with the samples that London handed over to the Organisation for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
Now in fairness, given the hostility of the Western media to all things Russia, it is strongly likely that the Swiss report is being squelched by the editorial staff of the main news sources. This is the worst sort of injustice, however, in so many ways. The Russians are not getting any sort of fair treatment, and have become the scapegoat of all Western ills, which in reality are entirely the result of their own failures on many levels.
But the more alarming effect is that it has become increasingly difficult, almost impossible, to get a true report on major events.
We still do not know who poisoned the Skripals. We do not know why. We do not even know HOW, apparently. The implications of not knowing these things is enormous. It places the society on edge, and keeps it in some state of fear; or worse, indifference. In that indifference, anything, literally anything can happen.


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